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AYS Spring Concert

May 5, 2019 at 3:00 pm

The Akron Youth Symphony and Music Director Eric Benjamin will present their Spring Concert on May 5 at 3 p.m. at the Tallmadge High School Auditorium.

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AYS Spring Concert


May 5, 2019
3:00 pm
Free – $35.00
Event Category:


Tallmadge High School
140 N Munroe Rd
Tallmadge, OH 44278 United States
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The Akron Youth Symphony will present its Spring Concert on May 5 at 3 p.m. at Tallmadge High School.

The Youth Symphony, under the baton of Music Director Eric Benjamin, will perform a selection of audience favorites, including Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, selections from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

A highlight of the afternoon will be solo performances by the Youth Symphony’s concerto winners:

  • Ayaka Coffman will perform a violin solo on Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole. Ayaka is a junior at Hoban High School and has been a member of the Akron Youth Symphony since 2016.
  • Brian Walsh will perform a horn solo on Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1. Brian is a senior at Stow-Munroe Falls High School and is finishing his second and final year with the Akron Youth Symphony.
  • Nova Meng will perform a piano solo on Rhapsody in Blue. Nova is a junior at Revere High School and has been a cellist with the Akron Youth Symphony for three years.

Tickets, which are required for the performance, are $10; children age 10 and younger are free. Tickets may be purchased online at akronsymphony.org, by calling the Symphony Box Office at 330.535.8131, or at the door starting one hour prior to the performance.

Tickets purchased the week of the concert will be available at the Will Call table on the day of the performance.

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About the Musicians

Ayaka Coffman

Akron Youth SymphonyAyaka Coffman is currently a 16-year-old junior at Archbishop Hoban High School. She has been playing violin since the age of 5, and is currently studying with Barbara Weber. She previously studied with Lois Damron and with Marian Goss of the Western Reserve Suzuki School, where she participated in the chamber music and orchestra programs.

Ayaka has been a member of Akron Youth Symphony Orchestra since 2016. She was the winner of the AYS Concerto Competition in 2017, and performed the first movement of the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in the final concert of that season. In December, she was invited to perform for Tuesday Musical Association members at the O’Neil House Bed and Breakfast.  She also performs on violin with the Archbishop Hoban High School Theater. 

Outside of music, Ayaka enjoys horseback riding, cooking, recipe blogging, traveling and spending time with her cousins.

Brian Walsh

Akron Youth SymphonyBrian Walsh is a senior at Stow-Munroe Falls High School, and is performing with the Akron Youth Symphony for his second and final year. He has played French horn for seven years, studying with Jen Berendt.

Brian is section leader in his school’s Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Greg Newman. Brian has performed in the Ohio Band Directors Conference Honor Band at the University of Akron for the past three years. He has received numerous superior ratings at OMEA Solo and Ensemble contest for horn solos, horn ensembles and brass ensembles. Brian also plays trumpet in the highest jazz band at Stow.

He participates in Academic Challenge, Interact, and National Honor Society. Brian plans to attend The Ohio State University to study music education and horn with professor Bruce Henniss.

Nova Meng

Akron Youth SymphonyNova Meng is a junior at Revere High School. She began learning piano at age 6 with Christina Choy, and began cello lessons at the Cleveland Institute of Music when she was 12 years old. She is currently studying piano with Gerardo Teissonnière at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and she is studying cello with Chauncey Aceret.

Some of the awards Nova has received in piano are third place at the International Piano Concerto Competition, alternate at the Buckeye Piano Auditions, and multiple awards from the Ohio Federation of Music, including second place at the Margaret and Grey Piano Competition. This is her third year playing the cello in the Akron Youth Symphony. 

Other than music, Nova enjoys swimming on the Revere varsity girls swim team, drawing, and debating as the captain of Revere’s Policy Debate Team. Nova has received multiple awards from the Scholastic Arts Association, is a three-year District Qualifier in swimming, and recently debated in the 2019 Speech and Debate State Tournament.

Her favorite hobbies include reading, creative writing and painting.

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